We’re pleased to announce the first winner of the Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year award will be revealed on November 19 and we want you to join us

 

 
Schedulers play a vital role in the UK bus industry, but they rarely get the recognition they deserve, so earlier this year, Passenger Transport teamed up with innovative data-driven scheduling and business intelligence platform CitySwift to launch a new award for 2020 – The Joe Wood Scheduler of the Year.

As well as seeking to raise awareness of the important work that is done by schedulers, and celebrate leaders in the field, the award is a tribute to Joe Wood, a widely respected young bus manager who died last year. Joe was one of the brightest rising stars of the UK bus industry. His passion and knowledge were obvious to everybody he met, and his potential was limitless.

Since this award was originally announced, the world has changed. Bus schedules have had to be adjusted more frequently than ever before, with services required to support key workers, enable social distancing and deal with the closure, reopening and reclosure of shops, schools and workplaces – all with very little notice.

Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate the art of bus scheduling and the people that help keep our towns and cities moving – even during the deepest lockdown.

Nominations were received from bus companies large and small, from across the UK. The judges, which include Ben Colson MBE, Go North East MD Martijn Gilbert and

Passenger Transport’s deputy editor Andrew Garnett, have reviewed all the entries and selected their shortlist (see right).

Joe Wood

With a lifelong connection to buses thanks to being brought up alongside the family business, Metrobus of Orpington, Joe Wood began driving buses at Stagecoach London in 2012. He went on to work in scheduling roles for Go-Ahead London, Stagecoach London and Reading Buses. He was network planning manager at Reading Buses when he was recruited by fast-expanding CitySwift as their commercial and integration director for the UK in early 2019. But he died in April 2019 after suffering a heart attack.

In October 2019, Joe’s contribution to the industry was recognised at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Annual Awards for Excellence in London. Wood posthumously received the President’s Award.

Commenting on the impact made by his former colleague, CitySwift COO Alan Farrelly said: “Joe showed us all what can be achieved through great scheduling, and we are delighted to launch this award in his honour.”

Book your FREE place

An in-person award ceremony was originally due to happen back in March, but had to be postponed due to Covid-19. Instead the organisers have decided that the winner will be announced on November 19 at a special online virtual event where each of the five finalists will be showcased.
There will also be a special roundtable discussion hosted by Passenger Transport managing editor Robert Jack with contributions from high profile industry figures. The winner will be announced by Joe’s father Gary Wood.

To book your FREE place at the virtual ceremony, simply visit bit.ly/32s6A9A – we hope that you’ll be able to join us.

 
THE SHORTLIST

Andrew Eyles

Andrew works for Go South Coast and makes the most of the multiple data sources at his disposal. He combines this with reliability data and external sources such as competitor timetables to ensure an appropriate response.

Chris Suggitt

Metrobus scheduler Chris has used historical GPS tracking data to create more reliable schedules at Metrobus. He combines this with stop-level patronage data and anecdotal feedback from drivers and depot staff for an understanding of demand and traffic levels at different times.

Iain McMillan

Iain works for Stagecoach East and while very comfortable in the ‘digital scheduling world’, he initially approaches new projects using traditional methods to identify any obstacles that need to be overcome. He then introduces technology to manipulate the inputs and develop solutions.

John Andrews

John works for National Express West Midlands and combines his detailed local knowledge with information from reliability and revenue databases. He studies every shred of data and listens to all feedback.

Richard Sherratt

Richard works for Trentbarton and knows that a schedule is more than what can be achieved on paper. He makes a point of understanding the demographics, traffic and significant movements on every route, and uses telematics to assess the driving styles of the team.

 
This story appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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